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Gold Rush Dogs Paperback – May 1, 2001

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Paperback, May 1, 2001
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1140L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882405349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882405346
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-This book offers a different perspective on the Alaska-Yukon gold-rush era by focusing on the dogs that played such a huge role in it. Each chapter presents the story of a particular dog. Readers may be familiar with some of them, such as Balto, a Norwegian reindeer dog that is famous for helping deliver diphtheria serum to Nome in 1925. However, there are many lesser-known and equally fascinating stories told here, such as that of Nero, a Saint Bernard that was the beloved pet and protector of the richest woman in the Klondike, and Patsy Ann, a bull terrier that made it her business to greet every boat that docked at Juneau. The chapters also feature insets with other information such as discussions of breed histories and brief biographies of some of the people who worked with the animals. Lots of fine-quality, black-and-white archival photos add greatly to the book's appeal. Action-filled stories; fascinating characters, both human and canine; and great photos should make this companion to the authors' Gold Rush Women (Alaska Northwest, 1997) and Children of the Gold Rush (Roberts Rinehart, 2001) a winner with both animal lovers and history buffs. Teachers might also find this useful as a way to add some fun to their American history units.

Arwen Marshall, formerly at New York Public Library

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-12. This canine collective biography highlights the accomplishments of nine dogs from the Yukon that worked as "packhorse, transit system, security guard, and pal rolled into one." Several have legendary reputations: John Muir's Stickeen explored glaciers with his master; Balto achieved motion picture fame; and Nero and Julian were said to be the inspiration for Buck in Jack London's Call of the Wild. Accompanying the main text are numerous sidebars on related topics, ranging from information on the Great Serum Run that took place in 1925 and the Canadian Mounties to background on dog breeds and the Iditarod. In fact, the sidebars sometimes threaten to overwhelm the primary accounts of canine loyalty and heroism. Still, there's a wealth of information here, along with some great black-and-white historical photos, if readers' eyes don't glaze over as they try to take it all in. Source notes, a bibliography, and an excellent index are appended. Randy Meyer
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

A daughter of the West, Claire Rudolf Murphy is the author of fifteen award-wining fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults, including Marching With Aunt Susan, Children of Alcatraz and I Am Sacajawea, I Am York: Our Journey West with Lewis and Clark. Her passion is writing stories about outsiders in American history, characters who have persevered over incredible odds. Her high school teacher's love of history and her parents' passion for politics and books inspired Claire to major in history at Santa Clara University.

Claire's extended writing community has helped her persevere during twenty years in the business, including the faculty and students at Hamline University 's low residency MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, where she currently teaches.

Find out more about Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children program at www.hamline.edu/mfa-children.
Formerly a secondary language arts teacher, Claire and her family lived in Alaska for twenty-four years. Many of her books evolved out of her fascination with the native cultures and gold rush history of the 49th state. She now resides in her hometown of Spokane where she continues to write, visit schools and teach creative writing workshops. Her children Conor and Megan, their friends, and Claire's many nieces and nephews have given her insights over the years about kids and teens. Americans who have fought for equal rights in every arena continue to inspire Claire today.

When not writing and reading Claire enjoys sports and music, and building an energy efficient, sustainable home where she plans to write for many years.

Listen to an audio clip that introduces Claire Rudolf Murphy and pronounces her name at teachingbooks.net.
In 2006, Claire was honored with the WORD Outstanding Author award:

"WORD is pleased to recognize Washington author, storyteller and writing instructor, Claire Rudolf Murphy, for her outstanding contributions to children's literature and literacy here in Washington State. [...] Claire has a heart for teaching as well and delights in every opportunity she has to interact with students in classroom visits. Additionally, she has been an active supporter of SACIRA: presenting at meetings, donating books for teachers, subsidizing her classroom visits to poorer schools and helping to bring other authors to the Spokane area to enrich the literacy skills of Spokane area children. Claire is a shining example of what it means to give back to your community."

Customer Reviews

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Balto not only received recognition as the "wonder dog" but was recognized for Togo's racing achievements as well.
Alaska Lainie
Whether your a dog lover, or just love stories about Alaska, this book is full of amazing stories that capture the grandure of Alaska and the heart of dogs.
Black and white photos from Gold Rush days depict dog and man alike in this excellent blend of history and animal insights.
Midwest Book Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alaska Lainie on April 20, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's time people recognize the "true heroes" of the lifesaving Diphtheria Run to Nome which began on January 27, 1925 in Nenana, Alaska. The true heroes were not Balto and Gunnar Kaasen. The true heroes were members of twenty dog teams. Wild Bill Shannon left Nenana with 300,000 units of serum to be relayed a distance of 674 miles by twenty dog teams, before finally reaching Nome. On January 28, 1925, Leonhard Seppala and his dog team led by Togo, left Nome to collect the serum 254 miles away at Nulato for the final run into Nome.

Togo was a small gray dog eager to be a sled dog. It was by chance that Leonhard Seppala discovered the leadership Togo displayed when first harnessed in the wheel position. Because of Togo's determination, he was moved in stages to the front of the line, soon becoming a once in a lifetime leader. Seppala entered and won every major race in Alaska, many of them several times, with Togo in lead position.

Late in the serum run, Seppala was unaware that Nome had made the decision to send three additional dog teams to relieve Seppala. The teams were to space themselves every 20 miles outside of Nome. Rohn, Olson, and Kaasen...whose team was led by Balto...drove the three additional teams. Kaasen hit a blizzard at Solomon and was instructed not to go forward. Kaason alleged there had been little wind that night in Solomon, visibility was good, and the Safety Roadhouse displayed the proper signal light acknowledging the waiting dog team. Kaasen continued on, bypassing Safety where the serum was to be turned over to Rohn, who in turn was to take the serum into Nome.

Kaasen reached Nome on February 2, 1925 with the serum. Kaasen had been accused of bypassing Safety in order to claim the honor of bringing the serum into Nome.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "lkefka" on July 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gold Rush Dogs is a great book that shows just how loyal dogs can be. Not only that she tells about the history and shows the important role that dogs played in developing Alaska. Besides this, she tells nine amazing stories of dogs that are famous in the region of the state that they stayed at.
Sure, you probably know about Balto in the Dipheria run, but you may not know about Togo, who was equally vital in the relay. Then there is Patsy Ann, the friendly stray who's ability to always know when and where the ships were coming in earned her the titile of "Official Greeter of Juneau.
Whether your a dog lover, or just love stories about Alaska, this book is full of amazing stories that capture the grandure of Alaska and the heart of dogs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JerseyCaptain on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
The authors of this book on several famous Alaskan gold-rush era dogs (and dogs who came after the gold rush, which they don't account for in the title of their book) have done only a minimal amount of research on the subjects they cover, and this book is full of glaring errors, and not worth the purchase price whatsoever. While I could go over it in detail, I only read the book while sitting in the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska while awaiting a connecting flight, and repeatedly shook my head in disbelief at the shoddy research effort behind it. While it has some good information and decent photographs, it also contains errors such as one that I specifically recall, and which is even noted in the contents.

Under the chapter covering Balto, it refers to him as a "lapphund". Common and accepted historical research and standards maintain that Balto was a Siberian husky. There has never been any reliable evidence to suggest otherwise. It is just one of the several outlandish claims made about him by those who do not approach history professionally and with a dedication to research and documentation (even the American Kennel Club, which refers to him as an Alaskan Malamute!). The authors of this book base their conclusions on unsubstantiated claims of Balto having been a Finnish Lapphund. These claims are based solely upon similar coloration and basic body type. But if you look at the standard for the Finnish Lapphund, while they can have coloration similar to what Balto had in life (mostly black with white markings), you also find that the standard refers to a physical size of "46 to 52 centimetres (18 to 20 in) at the withers for a male" (as noted on the Wikipedia page for the Finnish Lapphund).
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